Tuesday, February 8, 2011

BTR 1 - Intermediate Microeconomics by Hal R. Varian

This is the time when everyone has already submitted the application or is almost done. Some of the applicants are waiting for the results from now only but since universities gets hundreds of applications every year, applicants would have to wait another a month to know their admission status. In the meantime probably the best use of time (assuming one is not busy in other things) will be to refresh your economics and mathematics. Those who have their undergraduate or graduate degree in economics already they must have read the books those are prerequisites to economics graduate courses. However some of the applicants will be coming to economics from other backgrounds and they might not be aware which books to read. This series Books to Read (BTR) will introduce some wonderful economics and related textbooks which make you ready for the graduate courses.

The first book that I am going to discuss is
Intermediate Microeconomics by Hal R. Varian

This textbook is probably the most widely used textbook for microeconomics today. This is a nicely written book which is very comprehensive and lucid to read. As name suggests it’s an intermediate level book and you don’t need any background in economics to read this. However you must be familiar with some high school mathematical techniques in order to better understand the book and be ready for graduate school. The diagrams are the assets of the books. In fact, for an economics student understanding the context in diagrammatical representation can be very helpful and intuitive.

One is supposed to read the entire book before the graduate courses begin. The book contains consumer theory, production theory, and behavior of firms, markets (perfect competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, monopsony and so on) and welfare, externalities etc. In short it has everything that you need in order to prepare yourself for graduate school.

The exercises at the end of each chapter must be solved. A student wishing for an advanced degree in economics must not refrain from the appendices and make sure that he completely understands the mathematical derivations too. There is a work out book by Varian based on this textbook. Solving the workbook will make sure that you have understood the topic completely and you know how to use the applications in solving the problems. You also do lot of practice which is helpful.

Therefore it it’s a one book in microeconomics that I would recommend somebody to read at undergraduate level it will be Intermediate Microeconomics by Hal R. Varian.

1 comment:

  1. I hated this book in college......but I had to study.

    Maybe one of the best choice as well.